NewsDesk @bactiman63

Last month was Rabies Awareness Month in the Philippines and officials reminded the public to have pets vaccinated and to seek immediate medical attention for animal bites to prevent rabies infections and rabies-related injuries and deaths.

From the beginning of the year through March 18, the Philippines has reported 73 human rabies cases/deaths, a slight increase from last year’s cases/death at the same time (69).

Regions reporting the most human cases include Central Luzon (17) and Calabarzon (10).

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) acting president and chief executive officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr., said “addressing rabies begins with prevention, and this can be done by ensuring that pets like dogs are properly vaccinated against rabies.”

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Ledesma said the public should not hesitate to get medical care after getting bitten by animals, as “the treatment of animal bites are covered by PhilHealth, so the families of bite victims should not be worried about medical costs.”

“It is very important that rabies is either ruled out or detected early. A majority of rabies-related deaths occur when bite victims do not get diagnosed immediately and are not given the appropriate post-bite treatment,” Ledesma said.

“Close to 300 Filipinos died from rabies in 2022, and all of these deaths could have been prevented with the right care,” Ledesma added.